Praying Mantis

sjklyJune 18, 2010

I went out to inspect my melon plants-and count the various little melons and found a small Praying Mantis standing guard over one of my watermelon plants.

I wish I had a thousand of the little guys.

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scarletdaisies(6)

I did the same thing a half hour ago, but it wasn't a praying mantis, it was a long thin black 3 inch pincher bug. He looked like this:

Not my picture and he/she was a little longer, but it looked like it. I'll bet the squash bugs wouldn't tango with him.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:06PM
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sjkly

Are those things beneficials? I keep killing them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:13PM
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scarletdaisies(6)

I did too at first, got about two of them, but they are beneficials for sure! Don't you hate when an ugly bug you would kill is your only hope! They come out at night usually.

"These insects (predators) feed on other harmful insects and are regarded as very beneficial to agriculture. Larvae are elongate and wormlike in appearance with powerful prominent mandibles. They vary from dirty white to dirty yellow to almost black."

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2102.html

I also just found out by svb look-a-like, a mydas fly, a beneficial! I'll forgive him in trying to attack me, it must have been the hat!

Here is a link that might be useful: mydas fly

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:02PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

it was a long thin black 3 inch pincher bug

That's not a pincher bug. Earwigs are what people call pincher bugs and they only measure 1" at most.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 12:06AM
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scarletdaisies(6)

This is a beetle, not an earwig. Yeah, I came across that when I was searching, didn't know what an earwig looked like. That is why I'll explain him as a beetle, an earwig is not nearly the size and shape of a pincher topped beetle.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 11:00AM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Love the preying mantis. They are fun to watch and a good hungry eater of bugs.

If you are gentle with them, they don't mind being handled when it is necessary. I've moved 100's of them off of weeds that were being loaded for a trip to the dump and placed them on my fruit trees.

Isn't that black one a stink bug? I've heard they damage crops.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 2:30PM
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soonergrandmom

Praying Mantis may eat bad bugs, but they eat the good ones also, including other praying mantis. I'd rather not have them.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 2:40PM
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scarletdaisies(6)

A stink bug is flat and looks like a squash bug, it's a beetle and the page describing it is below the picture.

I would never handle a praying mantis because I've heard they bite, hard! But I don't kill them and they are very friendly looking. I've only seen 3 so far in the garden, so maybe they will make more.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 3:12PM
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sewobsessed

scarletdaisies,
I've noticed that you've been posting pictures on the forums that you've gotten from other places. I'm just letting you know that that is a no-no and don't want you to get in trouble for it. People/universities/businesses don't usually have a problem with someone else posting or using their photos as long as you ask the entity that owns it first or link back to where you found the pic, but some would consider it stealing if you don't.
I'm not trying to be mean about it or anything, I just thought maybe you didn't know :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 4:44PM
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timbersmith(6A)

I've never had a problem handling a praying mantis - they always want to get away at first, but then settle down after they get more comfortable.

One time at work I came out to find a mid-sized praying mantis on the side of my car - so I picked it up and tried to get it calmed down. It eventually decided that the top of my thumb was a nice place to rest, so I drove home - with that mantis sitting on top of my thumb the whole way. Just sitting there watching things and cleaning up, as content as could be.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 8:12PM
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scarletdaisies(6)

I'll watch out for that, but being this is a garden forum, they know I'm not selling the picture and their url is always posted below it.

I've never so far encountered a petty type who would complain about a picture borrowed, especially if their url is below it giving them credit and a little free add for their product or what not.

No, but flickr and many photo urls have public pictures that are perfectly legal to use.

I'll definitely watch that. Most of these people with web pages and photos are trying to give information out to the public anyways to make them more aware.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Nitsua(6b MO)

scarletdaisies...

Checking with browsers Firefox and IE, I don't see "their url is always posted below it". I can right click on the image and select "properties" and find the url that way, however.

Basically what you're doing is "hotlinking". Potentially the problem with this is perhaps not so much that you've "borrowed" their picture, but they, the "host", have to pay for the bandwidth for it to be downloaded here.

At a size of about 67kb, it's probably not all that significant, however, it can add up. 100 viewers of this thread means 6.7 meg of bandwidth "stolen".

Some info in the link below...

Here is a link that might be useful: Hotlinking

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 10:39PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

I have never heard of a preying mantis biting a human. Very rarely, a frightened mantis will strike out with one front foot. You can feel the blow, but it doesn't break the skin.

Handle them gently, and only if you have a good reason, and you won't receive any hostility from them.

I don't approve of catching them and keeping them in jars as "pets". They are wild creatures, so leave them in the garden and observe them in their native habitat.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 2:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The above beetle is the common Black Ground Beetle. It is a predator.

I'm with soongrandmom on the Praying mantis. I don't like to see them in my gardens, where the beneficials outnumber the pests. If you ever see a pile of butterfly wings on the ground, you'll know that a praying mantis has had lunch.

I've had one bite me and break the skin, by the way. When handling them, don't let them get to the skin between your fingers, where those big mandibles can get a good grip.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 2:33PM
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star_stuff(Greensboro NC 7a)

Back to the topic...I thought IÂd share this cool pic of a mantis devouring a mosquito hawk in my peppers. IÂm VERY LUCKY to have dozens of mantids all over this year. IÂm assuming one of the mantids from last year enjoyed the bug buffet that is my garden so much that it made a comfy nest in the shrubbery last year. It's fun observing the juveniles mature...will take more pics! :-)
Caroline

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 6:31PM
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scarletdaisies(6)

I wonder what plants a praying mantis is attracted to, or is it certain prey?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 6:38PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

I saw a small one on the way out to my new garden today. I always thought they were kinda cool looking.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:27AM
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mandi787

Hi, I live in central Illinois and it gets very cold in the winter. Every year we have a praying mantis show up about this time and they are really cool to watch. But this year a female has been here for 3 weeks and lives on the inside of our screen door, so it is like a private aquarium to watch her (Freddy). Recently she laid an egg sack and I am afraid that the winter will hurt them, and I dont want them hatching right in our doorway. Can I move them to our barn shed and if so how do I do it safely.
Thanks
Angie

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:17PM
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tcstoehr

I can't believe I hear people *not* wanting mantises in their gardens cuz they'll eat the beneficial insects. Do you also dislike spiders, frogs and dragonflies in the garden? And when I see a pile of butterfly wings on the ground I think "fantastic... one less cabbage butterfly".

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 1:09PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You can believe me when I say it. When the mantis sets up sentry duty on my Echinaceae, it's after nothing but butterflies and bees. I saw one the other day on some of my blooming Autumn Joy sedum. Guess which plant is literally swarming with all kinds of pollinating insects at this time of year?

In my gardens, with so few pests, the praying mantis doesn't have much to do other than make me irritated. I've released them into the garage upon occasion, where black widows have made themselves at home. I'm not sure who would win that battle, but I'd be rooting for the mantis!

mandi, the egg case of the praying mantis is designed to withstand winter weather of all kinds. However, I don't think you want it on the inside of your screen door! I've never tried to move an egg case and they seem to be fairly securely attached whenever I find them. What's the situation with yours? Does it appear to be loose or tightly glued down? If not, you should be able to gingerly move it to an outdoor location where it might have some protection. Use a dap of super glue to secure it in place.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 4:31PM
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Dan Staley

I doubt you can successfully move an egg case. I wouldn't risk it.

As far as mantids go, they eat whatever they catch and I have a film foto around here somewhere of the ground underneath an old butterfly bush littered with butterfly wings of all sorts. We have literally hundreds of ambush bugs in the yard and they eat bees and butterflies as well as other things. That is how things work. Nothing you can do about it.

Dan

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 7:17PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

You can successfully remove it with a razor blade if it's on a flat surface. The problem is sticking it on another flat surface. You could probably use a thin layer of elmers wood glue but it would have to be a spot that doesn't receive any moisture.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:41AM
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